“I want to fight for the rights of women and get into politics.” This comes from 17-year-old Daraja student, Grace.

Last week, she and fellow student, Leila, traveled from Daraja to the city of Nakuru, about four hours away from campus. They attended a conference on women’s opportunities in politics under Kenya’s new constitution put on by GROOTS (Grassroots Organizations Operating Together in Sisterhood), an organization that strives to “strengthen women’s participation in the development of communities and the approaches to problem solving.”

The girls were the only teens at the conference with about 110 women and 50 men in attendance, but they were quickly taken under the wings of the other women.

Grace said the conference emphasized how election tension between tribes can be reduced by cooperation between constituencies – in 2007 Kenya’s elections erupted in violence that killed around 1,200 people. She also said women were encouraged to run for public office and to take a stand against corruption in the government.

When Leila and Grace returned to campus they spoke about their experiences with the Grassroots Girls club at Daraja. The other members asked questions about the role of women in politics, but also what the girls’ trip off campus was like. Leila and Grace told them all about what they learned, but also gushed about staying in a hotel with a TV, although they didn’t have much free time to enjoy it.

And yes, they did jump on the beds.